Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Don Cheadle, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, William Sadler, Miguel Ferrer
Director: Shane Black
2013 | 130 Minutes | PG-13
“I’m not afraid of you. No politics here: just good old fashioned revenge!” – Tony Stark
** First of all, before I go any further. This will contain a lot of spoilers. Read at your own risk. **
I have been REALLY looking forward to seeing Iron Man 3. Not only have I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two Iron Man movies and The Avengers movie but IM3 also marks the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two. I can’t wait to experience this next phase of Marvel movies.
Iron Man 3 sees Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) having been drastically affected by the events in New York. He can’t sleep and he has been spending all of his free time in his lab. When a terrorist known as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) tears Stark’s world apart, he begins a journey of rebuilding, retribution and revenge.
I got to a mid afternoon non-3D movie with about 15 minutes to spare only to find out it was completely sold out. This is not a normal occurrence in my home town. So I was left with two options – drive home and come back 2.5 hours later or wait a half hour and watch it in 3D. So, I am giving 3D yet another chance. People keep saying the technology is getting better. I don’t buy it. 3D still sucks. I got sick of watching a bunch of blurry stuff in the foreground before I even finished watching the trailers.
I don’t really need to get started about the downfalls of 3D so I’ll stop now.
We all know that Robert Downey Jr. IS Tony Stark. And I mean that as in Robert Downey Jr. perfectly embodies the character of Tony Stark. In Iron Man 3 the Tony Stark we are introduced to is not quite the same as the arrogant playboy from the previous movies. He’s damaged goods and this is the basis the entire rest of the movie revolves around. And RDJ plays it just right AGAIN. When Stark lands in Tennessee looking for answers he encounters a young kid with a knack for tinkering. The interactions between Tony and this kid are probably my favorite parts of the whole movie. They will make you feel for both characters and get some good laughs as well.
The Extremis super soldiers didn’t much feel like Iron Man villains to me. I have not read this part of the Iron Man story so I can’t say how accurate they are but I know they just felt a little weird for Iron Man. I will have to check out the motion comic and see what I think then. Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian is an interesting character but is far too shallow. Then we have The Mandarin. Or should I say “The Mandarin.” They completely butchered the character of The Mandarin and I should be a little mad about it but I see a light at the end of this tunnel. First of all, Ben Kingsley plays the character very well and the curveball that is thrown at us is completely unexpected (at least to me) and is actually kind of funny. I could also see this being written off somewhere down the line where we get a “real” Mandarin.
The movie also leaves it open to have someone steal the Iron Patriot armor so that he could become a villain sometime down the line if they ever wanted to go that route. Not that the Iron Patriot is a classic Iron Man villain or anything but I like when these movies don’t completely kill off characters or the potential for those characters to pop up later on down the line.
And what would a Marvel movie be without some awesome action set pieces and special effects? For the most part Iron Man 3 doesn’t disappoint in this department. The attack on Stark Manor was intense. The Air Force One rescue was awesome. And the final battle was appropriately grandiose. Again, I never quite bought on to these Extremis super soldiers so that some what hampered that final scene but seeing dozens of Iron Man armors buzzing around was still a lot of fun.
One of the strong points of Iron Man 3 is also one of its biggest downfalls. Iron Man 3 shows Tony Stark being very shaken from the events that happened in The Avengers. It seems that the fact that Tony is “just a guy in a metal suit” has really hit home. Throw in some panic attacks and potential PTSD and you have a really messed up Tony Stark. With the biggest focus of the movie being on Tony Stark and his fears it leaves Stark outside of his suit for a large portion of the movie. Even many of the great action scenes have Tony piloting his armor via his mind instead of being inside it. Each time it was revealed that he wasn’t in his armor during an entire huge action scene it felt a like we had been robbed a little. It was like, “Oh, it was just a robot.”
I walked out of Iron Man 3 a little disappointed. This is at least partially due to my being far too excited for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s second phase. Iron Man 3 may not have had any chance to fully live up to what I was hoping for. But, with that said, I can honestly say that I enjoyed Iron Man 1 and 2 better than I did 3. I’m curious to see where Iron Man goes from here. It might just help my future views on this film.